Cyber Walden update

I’ve decided to update the books page with the non-fiction books I’ve written, including the newest release Cyber Walden. Even though they are academic books and probably quite dry as writing style goes, I think they are accesible because of the subject matter.

One is my master thesis, Gamified Life: Signs and Meanings which deals with several topics – game semiotics, the creation of meaning in video games and gamification practices, and a new abstraction of games usable in the future. Who knows?!

The second is my recent work, Cyber Walden: Walden Two through a 21st Century Lens, which talks about digital technology and behavioral engineering as described by B.F. Skinner in his utopian novel Walden Two. I found that there a lot of issues that were present after the Second World War are still not addressed today. Saying it’s just human nature, will not make social issues go away.

While Skinner’s view of the world and his behavioral engineering are sometimes considered controversial, many of his ideas took root in many practices of today’s world. My aim was to explore human psychology as described by the behaviorist theory using the digital technology through which the world has gained unprecedented connectivity.

Instead of thinking of digital technology as a necessary evil (even this small blog is bombarded by hundreds of spam and bots), we can regard digital technology as one of the foundations of tomorrow’s ethical social revolution.

Here is the official release announcement:

We have just published a new eBook from cultural researcher Bogdan Albina (edited by Richard Povall).

For the past six years, in various guises, art.earth has been involved with a research centre in Korea called Science Walden. A bold and radical experiment, funded solely by the Korean government and under the leadership of Prof. Jaeweon Cho, the cleverly-named Science Walden asked some fundamental questions about how we live our lives today. Prof. Cho and his colleagues questioned the very basis of our under- standing of science, art, humanities, economics, value and society. This book was commissioned by Science Walden at the Ulsan National Institute of Science & Technology in Ulsan, S. Korea. It is a direct outgrowth from Richard Povall’s role as Visiting Professor at Science Walden from 2018-22.

BF Skinner wrote his novel Walden Two just after World War II in order to deal with some problems whose nature was more social and local rather than technological and global. The end of the war brought hope for a bright future, and the human collective mind was already aligned with dreams of utopia. In Walden Two, Skinner decided to apply his behavioural engineering skills in order to demonstrate how a small imagined collective would deal with the production of goods and personal issues in a sustain- able environment. He argued that human behaviour is not prone to random acts of fate, but instead, is a system aligned with certain rules and habits, and there- fore can be trained.

This book re-examines Walden Two fictional society through the lens of the 21st Century and asks how utopias and intentional communities might function in the digital age.

The book is available for download free from our bookshop.

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